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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, March 20, 2017
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DENR seeking action to
stop pangolin trade

Regional director Al Orolfoof the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Negros Island Region will meet today with the officials of theNational Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Ports Authority and the Philippine Coast Guard to conduct an investigation and to strengthen measures and to strictly enforce wildlife laws.

Orolfo saidyesterday that the DENR was saddened by the discovery of 15 dead pangolins in PurokLampiro in Barangay 2, Bacolod City, Friday. He said the pangolins were in a state of decomposition, their bodies opened and without innards.

“They are dressed and supposed to be ready for processing”, he said adding that the animal is one of the most sought after for its reported medicinal value most especially among Chinese people. “We repeat to declare that these animals have no proven medicinal properties as what has been reported”, Orolfo added.

This is the second time for Bacolod to encounter such case of pangolins, the other one was when a ship docked and the animals were intercepted. “We do not know yet where this kind of pangolin originated”, said.

Orolfo said they will get DNA samples from pangolins to determine their origin.

Pangolinswere included under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora or CITES in October2016, he said.

Adopted by over 180 countries, CITES is an international agreement that aims to ensure that the survival of wild animals and plants is not threatened by their trade. Appendix I lists plants and animals that are threatened with extinction, thus trading them internationally for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited, he added.

He said penalties involved are imprisonment of a minimum of six years and one day to twelve years and/or a fine of P100,000.00) to P1 million if inflicted or undertaken against species listed as critical; and

Imprisonment of four years and one day to six years and/or a fine of P50,000 to P500,000, if inflicted or undertaken against endangered species.

Orolfo said the meeting will heighten the awareness and vigilance of NIR citizens on endangered species and make sure that no such things happen again, like in the case of pangolins.*

 

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